Mary Adolf, M.S, OTR/L talks about the song she co-created to help teach students about descender letters, the letters that “go below” the main body of the letter.
GJPQY – Go Below Song
So, I had an idea.
There are 5 letters that go below. And I aptly call them, the “go-belows.” They are g, j, p, q, and y. I do push-in whole group instruction for first graders on handwriting. How can I teach my first grade students to remember the ones that go below? I show them in repeated visual demonstrations during whole group instruction, and I tell them funny things like “the go belows do not like heights, and like to sit their bellies on the line.” But I needed more.
I love writing poems. So I decided to write a little poem about the go belows.
Hey Hey Ho. What do you know?
There are 5 letters that go below:
g, j, p, q, y,
These are the letters that don’t go high!
They like it on the bottom line low,
So make sure you make them go below!
But it needed music! Being collaborative at Exton Elementary, I decided to send my poem to our music teacher, Jamie Klingler! He is so good with the students, and has a knack to just “make music” on demand. So one of the first graders brought my poem to Mr. Klingler, and wouldn’t you know it, within an hour or two I had the music! He created the tune to go to my poem, and taught the lines to the students in his first grade music class, and voila! So awesome! Collaboration at its finest.
The song was used to teach the first graders the go-below letters for the next two weeks! So much fun!
Tap below to hear the tune!
And thanks again to Exton’s music teacher, Mr. Klingler!
-Mary Adolf, M.S, OTR/L (OT at Exton Elementary School)